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Opposition members walk out of RS over NEET issue


New Delhi (PTI) Rajya Sabha witnessed noisy scenes on Friday and a walkout by opposition parties, including, the DMK, the Congress and the TMC, over the Tamil Nadu governor's decision to return the NEET exemption bill.


DMK members wanted to raise the issue during Zero Hour, but Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu did not agree, and asked them to do so during the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President's Address.


The DMK members, who later trooped into the Well of the House, were supported by Congress MPs.


Soon after the laying of listed papers, the DMK members tried to raise the issue, but Naidu did not permit it. A notice under Rule 267 of Rajya Sabha by an opposition member to take up the matter was not accepted by the Chairman.


The DMK MPs kept on insisting on raising the issue even as some members were speaking on their Zero Hour matters.


Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi has returned to the state government an assembly bill seeking exemption to the state from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).


Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge too wanted to speak on the issue as DMK members were insisting on raising the issue.


As the Chairman did not allow them to raise the issue, DMK, Congress, IUML, CPI, CPI (M), RJD, and TMC members staged a walkout from the House.


Naidu urged members to follow rules and regulations to ensure smooth functioning of the House.


He said people were feeling happy that Rajya Sabha was functioning without disruption and members are having their say.


The Chairman said 14 Zero Hour mentions were taken up in 30 minutes, and if "others had cooperated" the remaining three too would have been taken up.


"The Rules say that notice under Rule 267 has to be admitted by the Chairman. I have not admitted it because that is not an issue before either the central government or before the Parliament," he said.


He further said the issue is there in the state.


"...I said you can discuss it during the President's Address because they want to say something about the State. Whether one is in agreement with them or not, but they have got every right. But, suddenly saying, 'No; our issue must be taken up, forget the other Zero Hours' and then say, it is anti-democratic, it has not been permitted by the Chair," Naidu said.


"You are criticising the Governor; you are criticising the Centre; you are criticising the Chair also and criticising the House also. I request all of you. And, in between, they say that LoP wants to speak. The LoP can speak only if there is order in the House! And, your own members are creating disorder! I can't help it," he added.


He appealed to the members for smooth functioning of the House according to rules, regulations and guidance from the Chair.